With over 35,000 reservations and a ton of Internet buzz despite almost zero marketing presence, Elio Motors says it is just one year out from building its first enclosed trike. A local Louisiana news station KTAL NBC 6 took a tour of the former GM factory where Elio has set up shop and is getting ready for Job One.
Tentatively rated at 84 MPG and priced at just $6,800, you can reserve a post in line for as little as a $100 reservation. Our own Jo Borras has spoken to Paul Elio at length about what it will take to get this operation off the ground, including an estimated $200 million that Elio just doesn’t have yet.
Yet the appeal of a cheap and efficient vehicle that includes basic amenities like power windows, power locks, and air conditioning as standard equipment, has led it to becoming something of an under-the-radar hit. The huge number of reservations despite a very limited (and at times amateurish) marketing campaign indicates that Elio has struck a nerve with the car buying public.
While the above interview doesn’t offer too much in the way of new information, there are little details Elio fans might be interested in hearing, like the super-fast order-to-delivery system that Elio says could have your specifically-designed vehicle within a day of ordering. There are still a number of hurdles for Elio to overcome, including the final design of a brand new 0.9 liter engine design and raising the necessary capital to begin mass production. On that note, at the end of the broadcast it is mentioned that Elio has cleared the first of three hurdles in pursuit of a $185 million government loan.
But it’s starting to feel like Elio might just be the real deal, rather than just an opportunity to cash in on high gas costs. What do you think?
via Autoblog Green